Policies always have an effect on society. Even with our little bit of money that Christians help people with in Cambodia, we too affect the society: Some for good and some for bad.
There are many ways to get through a jungle. The easiest way to travel is to follow those who go before you. Usually they just walk on a path which becomes warn over time. The path is narrow and small, and is hardly ever straight, because a person is constantly adjusting his weight and movements according to the obstacles he faces, so the path reflects the journey.
Apocalypse Now was one of the historic Vietnam War movies starring Marlon Brando and Martin Sheen in 1979. The story was about tracking down a maverick colonel who went rogue and set up his own kingdom in Cambodia where he was running operations. Most of the movie was traveling through the jungles. About half way through the movie they stopped at a French chateau in a remote border region between Vietnam and Cambodia. Off the beaten track where Lonely Planet guide books dare not even travel, I know of an abandoned French Plantation house. It sits up on the spine of a hill called “Crocodile’s Back”.
Among the thousands of ancient temples and millions of carvings there is in one temple [Prasat Ta Prom] which was built in 1186 (some 800 years ago) which has a carving of what clearly is a dinosaur (Stegosaurus). In this same temple there are other animal carvings such as horses and rhinoceroses. So are dinosaurs 150 million years old or 800 years old?
In 1985 Steve Hyde built a church to provide a place of refuge for the community after a huge flood in the community of Malanday, Marikina, Manila in the Philippines. During Typhoon Ketsana, the community was again destroyed by the flooding, but 26 people were able to take refuge in the church building.
In today’s society, everyone is always looking for clever ways of doing business, or making the most money with the least amount of effort. Scams and schemes are everywhere to fool people. Unfortunately they are even in the church. Like I said, I don’t have all the answers, but I think we all need to be reminded that God has given us the task to build nations. We all need to be more careful how we build. One of my favorite “red letter” sections is John 15:16 which says, “You did not choose me,[Jesus] but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit—fruit that will last.” If you build your nation God’s way, you build the Kingdom of God.
ObamaCare or JesusCare. Over the last month I have promoted JesusCare in a big way. I even have been making claims for people who don’t even know what JesusCare is about. Some get instant emergency care, while others seem to have more gradual relief. But I know for those who have universal health care with JesusCare, they absolutely love it!
True poverty. “Om” is a widow. She came to Poipet, Cambodia many years ago and barely survives, but has nowhere else to go that offer any better prospects. She has no family to help her, so each morning she cooks rice and tries to sell it to people. When I met Om, she was just washing the dishes from the morning breakfast. Yes, in the same water, that she is living over. I just pray that the people she feeds don’t spread cholera. Her house is the little hole directly in front of her. It is made out of rubber insulation from discarded shipping containers and bamboo. Her toilet is behind the white rice sack wall and her clothes line, for her other set of clothes, is a bamboo pole.
Last week Typhoon Ketsana flooded much of northern Cambodia. Most rivers broke their banks and flooding and destroying an estimated 75,000 acres of rice fields, just as they are nearing harvest time. 11 people died as the strong winds collapsed their houses. Most of the dead were women and children. Roads were destroyed, crops destroyed, schools flooded, and typical of most rapid responses, they simply pass out a box of instant ramen noodles, a bottle of soy sauce and about 10 pounds of rice to each victim. A week later, the photographers are gone and so is the not so healthy food, but the roads are still washed out, the fields are destroyed, the schools are still knee deep in mud and water. We can help some of those affected in a tangible way.
In Cambodia, life is cheap. Girls can be bought for $1.25. Unfortunately many tourist frequent these massage parlors as do Cambodians themselves. As Christians, the best things we can do is to just stay away from the temptations of sin that are around us.